Pakistani rupee under pressure breaching 200-mark due to economic, political crises

KARACHI: Since last week, the US dollar has been on an upward trend against the Pakistani rupee, and the trend continued Thursday when it finally broke beyond the Rs 200 threshold in interbank trading. During intraday trade, the dollar appreciated by Rs 1.81, or 0.91 percent, and was trading at Rs 200.20 at 11 a.m. The dollar closed at Rs 198.39 on Wednesday, up Rs 2.65 from its Tuesday closing value of Rs 195.74.

The US dollar had already crossed the Rs 200 level in the open market two days ago. In the interbank market, the greenback has strengthened by Rs 18.09 since the new administration assumed power on April 11. As per reports, the foreign currency surged by Rs 15.50 on the open market within the same period. Experts say the dollar's increase is being fueled by economic and political uncertainty, which is undermining the rupee's value.  The market was focused on continuing talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Qatar.

Pakistan informed the IMF during the first round of negotiations, which ended on Wednesday, that it is prepared to take tough decisions such as removing the gasoline subsidy and reducing the widening current account deficit. 
The talks were to resume the USD6 billion IMF programme for Pakistan, with the prospect of a USD2 billion extension.

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